Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 01-09-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JANUARY 9-15, 2020 5 Woonsocket 125th Arc de Triumph with committee members. Former and current Woonsocket leaders join for a photo at a fundraiser for the Feast of St. Jean Baptiste. Open air mass, June 2018, Feast of St. Jean Baptiste. Blessing of the Holy Eucharist as a beautiful ray of light appears. Induction of Little Rose Ferron into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Beautiful wreath of thorns donated by Bileau's Flowers. In center, her personal cross. Young, proud Woonsocket ROTC students stand in front of newly dedicated WW1 monument at Post 85, Woonsocket on November11, 2018. Committee of the 1988 Centennial Block Party, 4th floor Longley Building. I sit here today to write a simple plea at the table of Monsignor Charles Dauray. TO UNITE THE CITY TO ATTEND THE LAST MASS AT ST. CHARLES CHURCH Sunday, January 12, 2020 9 a.m., and sign a petition to keep it open! Some years ago, my cousin, Father Joseph Albert Lionel Blain, said to me "We share the same name Albert, yours is first, you carry the family name, much is expected of you." Then seeing Father Finneg- an, pastor of St. Charles Church, on the evening of his final departure, in the kindest way, handed me the book on the history of St. Charles and said "keep it, but when it comes time, save this church." I told him I would. This may sound simple but to me it's profound words of prophecy from men truly of God. Two years ago, with my new Vice President title, I moved for the induction of Little Rose Ferron into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. A moment of pure emotion. Then moving quickly, as a city hearing we had some of the highest opioid use and child neglect, we came together in faith. Prayed in an open air mass, center city, fed 2,500 inner city children, and gave parents informational help. The Feast of St. Jean the Baptiste was the best of mankind - and now currently a committee of 10 wonderful Catholics endeavoring to save St. Charles Borromeo Church. A task in which I must remain in a constant state of prayer. I know profoundly what is at STAKE – all that has made our city so great. I don't think Providence understands Woonsocket, what we have - the powerful sense of community. One of many things comes to mind, in 2013 facing virtual bankruptcy, we came together as a city for Woonsockets 125th - 6 major fundraisers - built a free standing, 8 story, 80 foot Arch de Triumph, depicting murals of our proud history - and all the time in the background was the real tower of Saint Charles that guided us for 175 years. In an editorial of the Providence Journal it was said we were misguided, the wrong time to throw a party. Well that half mile block party drew 35,000 people out of our city's 42,000 popula- tion and we came together and it showcased the best of humanity in the worst of times. Providence doesn't understand us at all. It's called a close knit community. Rhode Island is the most Catholic state in America, then it makes Woonsocket the most Catholic city in America. In this city lies the Vatican of Northern Rhode Island. Our mountain of prophecy, our cornerstone place of faith, St. Charles Borromeo Church, oldest place of Catholic worship in Northern Rhode Island. The city's first consecrated site. Established prior to the Diocese of Providence, a National Registered His- toric site. Next year will be celebrating our 175th year of Catholic life in Woonsocket. This is the church, our Ellis Island of faith, that embraced all of our ancestors as they arrived, till they established their church. The mother church that gave new life to all. At all cost we must speak out and protect her. The souls of our ancestors are calling. Your parents, grandparents, the values they instilled and still today those blessings are with all of us. The truth lies before us, how each individual will respond to St. Charles, or lack of, you will own. This is the place where giants worship. In fact, in 1885, parishioner Joseph Bannigan, President, U.S. Rubber Company, Woonsocket was knighted by Pope Leo the VIII for his Catholic philanthropy. Some facts and a plan to move forward are crucial. We will develop a new aggressive approach for an outreach program. Currently, $100,000 sits in our account to do so. Have future parishes that close merge with us, for obvious reasons, we are center city, the history, and financial stability we house. In fact, in 1885 the parish became debt free. Also, on site, adjacent land we own will build a museum of Woonsocket and Rhode Island Catholic history. To do so we will prep and sell some 60+ acres of developable land behind our cemetery in Black - stone, with potential value of 2.3 million. Also, with 1.75 million dollars sitting in St. Charles bank account it gives us tremendous latitude. We would request to have young, vibrant Father Joseph Upton move from our administrator to our full time pastor which would be a blessing. This is the opposite of surpression, it's called growing our parish and keeping our place of worship open. Let me be clear, if St. Charles closes, all these assets will go to Providence. I don't question the task given. I know saving St. Charles is divine. If need be - with our Canon Law Attorney's to Rome! "In hoc signo vinces" Albert R. Beauparlant Committee Chairman, Save St. Charles P.S. Let's unite again and say no to Providence. Please attend 9 a.m. mass this Sunday, January 12th, 2020 Accepting donations at

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